September 25, 2014
Bath buskers fight back
Seems like the brouhaha over the buskers and Bath Abbey choir is heating up. In this article in the Guardian (with video clips) the buskers give their position with street musician Jack Morgan saying “I think the rector has a personal issue with buskers. I think he feels that the only music in the square should be the fine choir of the abbey. I think he would like us to go away. I don’t think it’s a volume issue, I think it’s a more political issue. I think we’re seen as a rabble but we have a right to free expression and free speech and that’s what we’ll fight for. We’re part of a liberal British musical culture.”
In his office the rector Rev Prebendary Edward Mason admitted he was passionate about the issue. He had been reading an Old Testament passage about leadership when he felt he had to show just that quality and say the service had to stop.
Mason said: “I’ve been working with the street musicians for a long time but I’m really anxious about this city. I feel like weeping for it really.
“We’re surrounded by noise quite a lot of the time. I feel like weeping for those who try to sort out issues in the city and how we live together. I weep for a beautiful place that is subject to this noise. I weep that we human beings just cannot resolve conflict.”
Mason said the local authority, Bath and North East Somerset council, had little power to solve the problem – but he thought the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, which comes into force next month, might help.
Meanwhile Jack Morgan rejigged his normal set. “I’m going to be playing some protest songs,” he told the crowd milling around in front of Bath Abbey – and launched into a (suitably quiet) version of The Sound of Silence. Read lots more.
September 23, 2014
Choir drowned out by buskers
Daily Express (UK):
The Evensong at Bath Abbey was stopped halfway through yesterday after singers in the square outside drowned out the choir's songs, causing the congregation to stop their service and head off home.
There has been a religious establishment on the site since 675 AD, and the current building dates from 1500.
Musical director Peter King said rogue buskers were a common problem in the area and blamed the council for a lack of action.
Writing on Twitter, he said: "Choral Evensong abandoned today because of noise from buskers. Local council continues to do nothing about this nuisance. "Local office staff work with ear plugs and can't open windows in heatwave because of buskers.
"Two boys had learnt solos and taken them home to practise and were singing them beautifully; all wasted."
Kingston Parade, the square outside the abbey is a popular spot for buskers who sing and play amplified instruments. Buskers in the city are supposed to undergo an audition to check they are good enough, and meet at 10am every day to arrange pitches and a running order.
Bath Abbey's congregation are in good company when it comes to being distracted by buskers. In May last year, drummers outside the Gielgud Theatre in London were so loud that actress Dame Helen Mirren, who was in costume as The Queen, left the theatre during the interval of The Audience to remonstrate with them.
September 17, 2014
Inside Pentatonix, 'Pitch Perfect' and the Pop Culture Phenomenon of A Cappella Music
Alongside needle-moving, genre-defying priority releases on the RCA Records slate — Sia's 1000 Forms of Fear and "Weird Al" Yankovic's Mandatory Fun among them — is the new album by Pentatonix, highlighting one of the oldest musical forms: a cappella vocals.
But before you cry "Gregorian chant," don't call it a fad: Pentatonix — an electro-infused five-piece that formed for NBC's The Sing-Off in 2011 (and won) and cut its teeth on cover songs before graduating to instrument-less videos of Lorde and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hits, original songs and brand alignments with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Oreo — has collected more than 520 million cumulative YouTube views and boasts more subscribers than Avicii and Beyonce. So for the group's major-label debut, PTX Vol. 3, on Sept. 23, "we expect it to be a pull, not a push," says RCA president/COO Tom Corson. Industry sources predict an opening week of 50,000-plus units (the act has sold 475,000 albums and 1.5 million downloads to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan), which should be good for a top 10 debut on the Billboard 200.
September 15, 2014
The Sing-Off is back! Auditions announced
Great news! The Sing-Off is back for season 5 and auditions are upcoming in the following cities. No further info as yet regarding returning judges etc. but we will post news here as it becomes available.
Los Angeles, CA - September 30, 2014
3407 Winona Ave
Burbank, CA 91504
Nashville, TN - October 2, 2014
1101 Cherry Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203
New York, NY - October 4, 2014
520 W 25th St. (b/n 10th & 11th Ave)
New York, NY 10001
September 10, 2014
Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon
At the big hoopla Apple media event today Tim Cook introduced an ad for the new iPhone 6 featuring Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon singing a cappella. Apple makes great products, not so sure about their ads..
An interview with Bob Gaudio
It made for a nice drive home today with an interesting interview on the radio with Bob Gaudio of the original Four Seasons by Fresh Air's Terry Gross. In addition to singing, Gaudio wrote or co-wrote most of The Four Seasons' hits, including "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Bye Bye Baby" and "Rag Doll." He also wrote the Frankie Valli solo hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You."
He talks a lot about harmony and their contemporaries such as The Hi-Lo's and Four Freshmen. Gaudio is very entertaining and tells some interesting stories such as their dealings with the mob. Read more.